Massachusetts Dispensaries Face Crackdown

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Massachusetts regulators are vowing to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries after some put low-income patients on waiting lists for discounted products.

The move by dispensaries led to delays that violate state MMJ laws, the Boston Globe reported. The paper found the delays persisted for months, meaning low-income patients didn’t get access to the discounted medical cannabis products.

The state’s MMJ program doesn’t put a cap on the number of patients eligible for medical cannabis discounts. The dispensaries had said their low-income programs were full, the Globe reported. State health department regulators will now scrutinize dispensary hardship programs as part of their regular inspections.

The Globe found three of the state’s six operating dispensaries had kept waiting lists: two owned by New England Treatment Access and another by Alternative Treatment Group. Both businesses said they have taken all patients off the waiting lists.

State regulations make discounts available for people on Medicaid, elderly or disabled residents who receive Supplemental Security Income, or patients whose annual incomes don’t exceed $11,880 for one person, or $24,300 for a family of four, according to the Globe.

It’s unclear how many patients were on the waiting lists.